ventral view of male; jet black below; scarlet head (Panama; 2008-05-29)

Red-capped Manakin
Pipra mentalis

Native Range: Latin America

Notes: nearly 50 species of manakins (Pipridae) are renowned for their strong sexual dichromatism, with males possessing oft-striking plumages and females being much duller; males also have elaborate courtship dances on leks (communal display arenas) where females come to "check out the goods"; some of these dances (such as "moon-walking" by one species) are truly amazing; most of these species are highly polygamous with the dominant males at a lek achieving disproportionate shares of the matings; the female builds the nest, which is a small structure just a few feet off the ground; like many other manakin species, Red-capped Manakin males are mostly jet-black except for the spectacular splashes of color here and there; on the lek, they hop from branch to branch showing off their bright yellow leggings and other adornments.

dorsal view of male; jet black above; scarlet head (Panama; 2008-05-29)

male also has bright yellow "leggings" (Panama; 2008-05-29)

two males displaying on a lek (Panama; 2008-05-29)

male has a striking white iris too (Panama; 2008-05-29)